Ronald and Nancy Love Drugs


Political remix videos can serve many different purposes. Some of them are more lighthearted and funny while others aim to argue a political point that has a much deeper meaning. The videos will generally make some sort of argument regardless of the type of message they send.

The original video comes from 1986 when the former President, Ronald Reagan, and his wife, Nancy, addressed the country on the dangers of certain drugs. Some would consider the Raegan administration’s “War on Drugs” to have been a terrible failure and a waste of time and money. But it was so much more, it helped incarcerate hundreds of thousands of nonviolent offenders that were typically of a lower socioeconomic status. When these nonviolent drug-using offenders were put in jail, they learned how to become a hardened criminal, which set them on a path of destruction that they may have never been exposed to had they never been to prison.

This particular remix was made in 1988 using VCRs and other dated equipment. Cliff Roth, the creator of this video, makes an argument by challenging the failure of the “War on Drugs” that was spearheaded by Nancy Reagan. Roth uses humor to convey a more profound message on this botch of a program. He alters the message of the original video to convey a message that is entirely the opposite of the original. The irony of the video is what makes its argument so strong. Roth cuts the video in certain ways that it makes it look like the Reagans support the use of crack cocaine, marijuana and other illicit drugs, among other things.

Roth used a very effective strategy in order to communicate the main political argument he had. Its effectiveness comes from the order in which the clips were arranged. Although not right at the very beginning, as you watch this video, you will find yourself watching nearly all of its seven minutes. The clips flow together very smoothly and sometimes it can even be hard to tell when the clip was cut because the audio plays so well over the picture.



An Effective Website

A compelling and aesthetically pleasing website can be imperative to an certain individual’s success these days. Graphic designers, for example, showcase their work partly through the design of their website, which pulls a viewer or employer to keep browsing their site.

One commendable example of such a website is that of graphic designer, Julie Bonnemoy. The aesthetics of this website are particularly intriguing, I was immediately captivated by the cartoon hand extending a peace sign that is used to signify that the website is loading. The home page makes you feel like you’re inside of a lava lamp and the compelling phrase it reads gives you the only instruction really necessary for the essentially whole website, “scroll down.”

The way in which the website is designed, makes it so that one of the few things the viewer has to do is scroll. This website is rather user-friendly and straightforward. If you’d like to view her designs, simply click on them as you scroll down, and if you’d like to view her projects, click the project tab! There aren’t many images on this website besides the home page and Bonnemoy’s work, but her designs and the whole scheme of the site work well together to create a unique amalgamation  of art and simplicity.

Research for a Popular Audience

Robert Kunzig and Douglas Emlin both transform seemingly bland research into something much more gripping and fascinating which should enthrall their online readers and expand their audiences. For example, in Kunzig’s Carnivore’s Dilemma, he begins with extremely descriptive language in order to paint a picture in the minds of his readers.
“At Wrangler Feedyard, on the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle, night was coming to an end, and 20,000 tons of meat were beginning to stir. The humans who run this city of beef had been up for hours. Steam billowed from the stacks of the feed mill; trucks rumbled down alleys, pouring rivers of steam-flaked corn into nine miles of concrete troughs.” This passage includes numerical facts while at the same time setting the scene and being as descriptive as possible.
By comparing his research to something in our society, Douglas Emlin uses a different method to translate research in The Astonishing Weaponry of Dung Beetles. “In that regard, animal arms races are not so dissimilar from the ones in which we humans, sometimes foolhardily, engage.” Here, Emlin compares his research on beetles to a huge issue we deal with in society – the arms race. By doing this he makes his research more relatable to his audience, therefore helping to ensure that his piece would be pleasant to read.

Psychopathy vs. Altruism

The National Geographic feature, “The Science behind Psychopaths and Extreme Altruists,” by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee provides a very in-depth analysis on the workings of the human brain. Pictures of scenes from horrific homicidal tragedies, such as the Las Vegas shooting and the murder of James Byrd, Jr. introduce the feature with an ominous tone. However, the written portion of the piece begins with a story of extreme altruism when Ashley Aldridge risked her life to save a man whose wheelchair was stuck in the tracks of an oncoming train. In his feature, Bhattacharjee seeks to explain why one person may risk their life for a complete stranger while another person could kill twenty children and feel no remorse. In order to answer his question, Bhattacharjee investigates the psychological science behind personality and empathy and calls on experts to explain these phenomena. For example, he explains how Phineas Gage, once a kind man, became irritable and callous after severely damaging his frontal lobe. Additionally, through stories and experts, the author explains how a larger, more active amygdala allows for extreme altruism whereas the opposite is true for a psychopath. Bhattacharjee references the information given to him by scholars and researchers from esteemed universities. This feature was able to deeply answer the question through personal stories and scientific fact. The graphic of the brain and its parts in the article helped to lay out brain functions and provide information for those who were unaware and/or curious. The addition of photographs and descriptions also added a lot of depth and allowed the reader to stop and ponder for a minute or two.